Earlier this week (Monday), I mentioned that it was *A*’s birthday. She was a Thanksgiving-ish baby. She turned 10 and 30 on Thanksgiving Day – when she turned 10, she actually forgot it was her birthday. I wasn’t around then, but I was around for #30, and I wanted to make sure she didn’t forget it. I came up with a plan for a surprise trip – and what do people do on Thanksgiving Day, when nothing is open? Well, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York – of course!
The night before the trip (two days before her birthday) I surprised her with plane tickets – I had planned this trip for months. I’d never been to New York City (the state, yes, but not the City), and although she had been before, she had not gotten to explore very much. Four days in New York – SO MUCH TO DO! Flashback Friday’s about the actual parade, though – stay tuned for other New York photos another time…
Thanksgiving morning, about 6am, we high-tailed it via the subway to the Upper West Side, Central Park West – and were lucky enough to be about 100 feet back. People continued getting there up to the parade start (9am) and lined the street behind us – it was this way on every street that met the parade route, I’m sure. The actual parade route was line with bleachers for Macy’s employees and their families and various important folks, so the general public isn’t really able to get right on the street – from what I could tell, anyway.
Waiting for the parade to start – it was sooooo cold and damp that day!
Most of our photos during the parade are of floats – there were no risers (other than the curb) and you had to dodge people with kids on their shoulders – so it was hard to get good pictures – and who knows what went on on the ground – 100 feet back in that kind of a crowd was too far to tell. But here’s Snoopy the Explorer – him we could see!
What with dodging kids-on-shoulders and random arms-in-the-air taking photos, not to mention our feed-me-batteries-like-candy camera, this is all I managed of Kermit the Frog. But I’ve got to admit, it’s probably more memorable for it. 🙂
The Fireman – one of my favorites. This guy’s been around for many, many years.
Horton the elephant from Horton Hears a Who.
More smurfs – these on the ground. This should give you an idea of our view.
A very rotund Santa (Well, I suppose they are all rotund, yes? That’s the point…)
After an hour or so of hearing lots of noise on the parade route from someone(s) we couldn’t see, and craning our necks to see the balloons, we heard roars starting from the beginning of the route and heading our direction – what on earth?! Well, this guy, of course! Santa was very photogenic – excellently played, I must say. Much better than this guy:
*A* and I love this movie – the original 1947 version, that is. We watch it every year. And every year we remember the spirit of what Santa Claus is really all about.
It’s also a big tradition in our house to watch the Macy’s parade every year – I used to look forward to it growing up, as did *A.* We both always wanted to see the parade in person, but filed it among those “maybe someday” moments. I decided a 30th birthday on Thanksgiving Day should be one of them! We had a great time – and we want to go back to New York again – lots more to do.
A handful of our many other photo highlights:
The day before the parade, we checked out the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island – super, super cold and windy that day.
Manhattan is behind us – we’re on Liberty Island – on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.
The Believe-o-Meter outside the Macy’s store – the original store. We actually went there after the parade – not sure why we thought that would be a good idea – the place was an absolute madhouse! And of course, with our mission to get to the holiday area so we could get an ornament – ridiculous (it was on the 5th floor). But we made it – rickety wooden escalators and all. But probably never again on Thanksgiving Day!
What a fantastic trip – I’m so glad we went – I think it was a perfect way to celebrate *A*’s birthday. We both look forward to planning surprises like this for the Littlest Brooks-Livingston someday – oh, little one, the fun we will have together!
Just for our own memory-keeping purposes, I found these videos on YouTube – this is a 2-part video of the 2010 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – shot at 75th Street and Central Park West. This looks like the street we were on – it was either this one or 77th. So this is what we saw – from very much the same perspective – about 100 feet back from the parade route. Just in case we want to re-live it sometime: